Perfume oil is a highly concentrated ingredient used in a wide range of bath and beauty products, as well as candles and other scented household products. It differs from mass-market perfumes, which typically contain alcohol or other carrier agents. Choosing the right perfume oil depends on the product’s intended purpose and your budget.
If you plan to make your own homemade bath and body products, you will need to purchase concentrated forms of perfume oil, such as essential oils or fragrance oils. Essential oils are pure extracts from various parts of plants and trees, while fragrance oils are synthetic products created in laboratories. Both have their benefits and drawbacks in bath and beauty preparations.
Essential oils are typically more expensive and volatile, but several branches of holistic medicine believe they also have numerous beneficial properties. Lavender, for example, is well known for its ability to promote relaxation, while peppermint oil is said to relieve headaches and tension. When using essential oils, it is important to remember that they should never be placed directly on the skin. A few drops mixed into a carrier oil such as olive oil or sweet almond oil is usually enough to create the desired effect. You can use the finished product as a massage, bath, or body oil. Other options include mixing it into a bath salt or adding a few drops to an unscented lotion base.
Fragrance oils, on the other hand, are used simply to enhance the over-all scent of a product. The fact that they are synthetic means they do not contain the properties of pure plant oils, and therefore do not have the same beneficial properties. They are usually less expensive but require a higher ratio to carrier oil to produce desired scents. Fragrance oils may come in a wider range of scents, and you can often purchase oils designed to mimic the scent of your favorite expensive perfume.
Perfume oils can be divided into two additional categories: manufacturer’s grade and cosmetic grade. When looking for a perfume oil to use in homemade products, look for those designated manufacturer’s grade oil, as these are completely uncut and more concentrated, allowing you to retain complete control of the ingredients in your finished project. If you are just looking for perfume oil that you can apply directly to your skin without mixing with other ingredients, opt for cosmetic grade oils. Cosmetic grade oils can be used in most homemade projects, but they are already cut with carrier oil, so you may need to use more of the oil to get your desired result.
Your budget plays a major role in choosing the best perfume oil. Prices fluctuate significantly depending on the type of oil you choose. While some may cost only a few dollars per ounce, others can retail for as high as several hundred dollars per ounce. Rose essential oil, for example, is very expensive due to the difficult process of extracting the oil from the flower. If the cost of the essential oil is too high and you are not planning to use the perfume oil for therapeutic purposes, consider using synthetic oil designed to smell like the real one.